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the second tape i threw out of a window

in Senor Hoffmann’s 10th grade Espanol, i threw a listening comprehension

cassette tape out the second-floor classroom window

while El Profesor was out of the room &

everybody saw me do it –

after Mitchell Kent bet me $5 i wouldn’t.

Once El Profesor realized the tape was gone, he freaked

his stooped little bald headed thick-ass glasses-ed

self out & announced his plan to ferret out

the criminal(s) – which was more homework

for everybody, more quizzes, and bringing in

Dr. Sullivan (aka Dr. Vullisan) the slick smirky steely Asst. Principal

and the singling out of the 1

kid in the class of color as the likely perp.

he was from the Dominican Republic,

named Alfonso Hernandez mr. charming &

he was getting blamed for it if nobody (me)

stepped up and admitted it. The reason Al got blamed is

because i’d written a note to El Professor

in semi-broken Espanol (thereby throwing him off

my trail – i had bueno enspanol) saying that

“I threw the tape out the window & ‘the

machine that eats the grass ate the tape’”-

which was true – by the time i

looked for the tape the next week, it was

gone, in its place cut grass.

so Al was getting blamed, Dr. Sullivan was

called in, El Profesor wasn’t letting it

go like i’d thought he would and

fucking Mitchell kent that rat

bastard hadn’t given me $5.

so i fessed up & had to go

to Dr. Sullivan’s office & explain it &

he was kind of laughing the whole

time & instead he talked about writing

his dissertation on Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”

and gave me a copy of the

poem out of his file cabinet to keep &

it was about men stuffed with

straw of clothes stuffed with straw and

just about how fake everything is. So he let me off with a

copy of “The Hollow Men” & a bill for $35.50

to replace the whole set of tapes

from D.C. Heath Publishing Company.

El Profesor had to think it was funny deep

down, too & Al was proud of me for

coming clean i’ll never forget his eyes

in class when he realized he was the one

being singled out wrongly accused

in the end we’re

all alright

except for fucking Mitchell kent who

never gave me my $5